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tv   Nightline  ABC  November 28, 2012 11:35pm-12:00am PST

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pitt, unplugged. he has been hollywood's leading heartthrob since "thelma and louise," all the way to "moneyball." and what about that brow-raising perfume ad? tonight, brad pitt as a suave mob hit man, teaming up with with the man that brought us tony soprano, in an exclusive "nightline" interview. and, china's angels. they're the latest and perhaps most unusual must have access y accessory, the female bodyguard. we'll show you what it takes to become a lean, mean, protection machine. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," november 28th, 2012. >> good evening, all, i am bill weir. so, what does it take for the most advanced civilization in
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human history to become utterly transfixed by six ping-pong balls? well, only about half a billion dollars, before taxes. yes, the powerball prize was a record setter. as the jackpot swelled, the ticket-buying frenzy topped a rate of 130,000 a minute. after an astounding 16 rollovers, the $580 million question tonight was, would anyone actually win this time? on the dreamer beat, once again tonight, here's abc's ryan owens. >> reporter: this had been a record-breaking jackpot night. >> america's favorite game coming to you right now -- >> reporter: after all of the hype, the days of breathless anticipation, it comes down to this. >> $580 million jackpot for you. >> reporter: in a television studio in tallahassee, florida, machines spit out six numbers. numbers that are oh so close, but not quite the ones printed on your ticket. tonight it turns out they did match for at least two people. abc news has confirmed two winning tickets were sold. one in arizona.
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one in missouri. while the reality that almost all of us have lost, yet again, sets in -- let's go back to this morning when we were all about to become half-billionaires. "nightline" spent the day at three of the country's biggest lottery stores. first up, rosenberg, texas. rudy's stop and shop may look like a shack plastered with lottery signs, but you're looking at the luckiest spot in the lone star state. >> there you go. >> thank you. >> good luck. >> all right, thanks. >> reporter: its walls are lined with past winners. >> give me $10 worth. >> reporter: rudy's owner says last year alone, this one store precipitated printed up $2 million in winning tickets. >> we've cashed more tickets, produced more winners. >> six, seven and eight. thank you. >> thank you. all right. have a good day and good luck. >> i hope so. >> reporter: rosenberg is 40 miles from downtown houston, but thousands happily made the hike today. you came a long way.
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>> yes. very long way. >> reporter: kenneth came from louisiana to buy his ticket. >> it was the ambience when i drove by. the gaudy signs, it just pokes out at you, you just have to give it a shot. >> reporter: and you did. >> yes, i did. >> reporter: lots of people also gave it a shot at our next stop, white hills, arizona. it's as remote as it sounds. the middle of nowhere. but it's also arizona's busiest lottery retailer. why? because it's on the border of nevada and not far from california. two states with no powerball. yesterday alone, they sold more than 100,000 tickets. >> i'd say the line has to be like about three, three and a half hours. >> reporter: gary made the trek through the desert to get here. >> thank you and good luck. >> thank you. i have about as much chance as everybody else here. sure would be nice to win, you know? >> reporter: for our third stop, we head east, to methuen, massachusetts. sure ted's state line mobil is a gas station, but 70% of its business is lottery tickets.
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$15 million worth last year. >> every day, for many years, come here, three times a day. >> reporter: why such loyalty? this place north of boston is more like a lottery lounge. 15 kiosks, plenty of seating and some inspiration. >> this is the latest million dollar winner. >> reporter: owner tony says over the years, he's sold 25 grand prizes totaling more than $110 million. is there a secret to winning? >> the secret is you have to buy a ticket to win. that's the secret. if you don't buy anything, you're not going to win. >> reporter: oh, we are buying, all right. this year alone, americans spent $61 billion on lottery tickets. up 8.7% from 2011. where does all the money go? every state is different, but on average, 58 cents of every dollar goes to prizes. 33 cents are funneled back to state coffers. while most think lotteries fund
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education, only 12 out of 44 states use the money solely for that. back in tallahassee, those machines that hold our fate were locked up in a vault. security cameras trained on them all day. tonight, as the sun set on the luckiest place in texas, they kept coming, right up until sales stopped just an hour before the big drawing. when so many dreams were put to bed. i'm ryan owens for "nightline" in rosenberg, texas. >> our thanks to ryan owens. and coming up, brad pitt, a heartthrob hit man in his latest offering. he's hanging with james gandolfini and sitting down with our cynthia mcfadden, next. i'm a conservative investor. i invest in what i know. i turned 65 last week. i'm getting married. planning a life. there are risks, sure. but, there's no reward without it. i want to be prepared for the long haul.
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with bill weir. >> more than a few female film fans remember the first time they saw a shirtless young actor named brad pitt holster a hair dryer in "thelma and louise." and in the two decades since he's added humanitarian and family man to that heartthrob resume along with some darn fine performances and one very interesting chanel perfume ad. his latest film "killing them softly" has him as a suave hit man alongside james gandolfini, a guy who rarely does interviews. but the two could not resist a chat with my "nightline" co-anchor cynthia mcfadden. >> excuse me, ma'am. >> reporter: it was more than 20 years ago that a young actor played a sexy hitchhiker in "thelma and louise" and forever stole the hearts of millions of women. >> my goodness. >> reporter: but brad pitt wasn't just a romantic lead. his tough guy bona fides were cemented in films like "fight
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club." >> first rule of fight club, you do not talk about fight club. >> reporter: this week, he's opening in a new film, "killing them softly," a mob movie. star alongside of him, the man who made tony soprano a household name. james gandolfini. it's hard not to get one of you to sit down for an interview but two of you together -- >> protection. >> reporter: is that what it is. >> uh-huh. >> reporter: for each other? >> yeah. >> reporter: it's actually everyone else that needs protection from them. both actors play hit men. >> put his light out tonight. >> reporter: hired to seek justice for the mob. so, i hear it took 40 -- what, 48 hours for you to sign on to this film, true? >> ah, no, 30 minutes. >> reporter: 30 minutes. why the quick sell? pitt says he was eager to work with andrew dominik again. >> walk into the bank just before noon. >> reporter: who directed him in "the assassination of jesse james." >> head back like so.
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>> reporter: the film was a box office disaster and dominik was having trouble finding another project. >> he was in, like, director's jail because "jesse james" wasn't considered a success. to me, it's the one i'm most proud of. >> reporter: so, when the director told him he was excited about a new story, pitt readily signed on as both star and producer. gandolfini was a tougher sell. >> i didn't want to do another mob guy for a long time and -- >> reporter: why? >> well, why, i did it for ten years. i had no more tricks. i couldn't pull anything out of the hat for this kind of thing. >> reporter: but dominik persisted. >> he tortured me, tortured me. then i started thinking, maybe, i've done a bunch of these guys and this is kind of the final nail in the coffin. this is where you are at the end. >> no [ bleep ]. no more booze. no nothing. >> i don't take orders from [ bleep ] like you! >> so, maybe if i played it that way in my mind, this is the last one, then it got interesting. hey, come here. >> reporter: in the movie, they
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play old friends hired to chase down a group of wannabe tough guys, stupid enough to knock over a mob-protected card game. pretty standard fare. but here's the twist. >> america is the most talented, productive and entrepreneurial workers in the world. >> reporter: the film is set in 2008 in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the great depression. >> situation is becoming more precarious by the day. >> reporter: actual news reports are woven into the story line to suggest the people running the mob and the people running the country have a lot in common. >> you ar cynical bastard, you know that? >> reporter: not even thomas jefferson escapes unscathed. >> he's a rich white snob. paying taxes to the brits. >> i've always been of the opinion that maybe crime movies are about capitalism. >> reporter: that's andrew dominik. the director. he stopped by with another one of the film's stars, ray liotta.
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>> it's the genre where everyone is chasing the buck. it's generally about the idea of getting rich quick. and i saw parallels between that and what was going on with the bailout, at the time, and it just seemed like kind of too good to ignore. >> america's not a country. it's just a business. >> reporter: politics aside, those hoping for good old-fashioned mob movie violence will not be disappointed. and that's where ray liotta of "goodfellas" fame comes in. he's used to dishing it out. >> what are you doing? >> reporter: but this time, he's on the receiving end. >> and it was a whole different thing, to take the beating and, really hard, and i wanted to do it all myself. i didn't want a stunt guy to do it. because i thought it was important to show real fear. no, no, no. >> action! >> reporter: while for pitt, this film is a return to the tough guy role. >> every journey ends, but we go on. >> reporter: lately, we've seen
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a lot of his softer side. >> the world turns and we turn with it. >> reporter: final question. i got to ask you. >> oh, no. >> oh, boy. >> oh, no. >> reporter: you ready? >> that setup, you know something's coming. >> reporter: you ready? the channel ad. >> oh, come on. >> reporter: what is it? explain it to me. can you? >> i kind of liked it. >> you don't know what you're meant to be feeling. >> reporter: a lot of people didn't. and it's led to a whole series of youtube parodies. >> my world turns and i turn in it. >> reporter: and this on "saturday night live." >> wake up and smile at reality. i'm sorry, is there really no script? i've been talking to myself like two hours straight, i'm starting to sound insane. >> i'm the wrong person to ask. >> reporter: have you seen the parodies? >> no, no, i stay blissfully naive to the chatter out there in the world, but -- fair play, you know? listen, i take out jefferson, right? fair play. >> reporter: in the whole dustup over the ad begs the question, can anyone as famous as pitt
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really just be another actor on the set? come in all big and movie starry or not? >> he can get a bit movie starry when the light is fading. for some reason, he always just slows down, like, when he's walking to set and the crews love it. they really adore it. for some reason. when he pulls just a little bit of a movie star turn, everyone loves it. drives me crazy. >> reporter: a small price to pay to work with pitt, who, despite the cynicism of the character he plays on-screen, ultimately finds hope in the movie's message. >> it's a reminder for us, for a -- that human nature is what it is and unregulated. many people will be damaged by it. maybe there's a call for a higher definition of capitalism, a definition of responsible capitalism that does not feed off the backs of others. that's what i would like to see us head. that's where i would like to see us go. >> that was well put. >> well, thank you. >> you're welcome. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm cynthia mcfadden in new york. >> great piece, cynthia.
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thanks. and "killing them softly" opens this friday. coming up next, in a country flush with millionaires, no surprise that the bodyguard business is booming, but wait until you see what kind of bodyguard has become the ultimate chinese status symbol. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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with his photograph smiling out from all those pieces of chinese currency, you have to wonder what chairman mao would think of all the newly minted millionaires enjoying the fruits of that country's capitalism boom. as is often the case when a
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nation takes a great leap out of abject poverty, conspicuous consumption is all the rage these days. but the rolex is just part of the status symbolism. as abc's gloria riviera tells us, any self-respecting mogul needs a special kind of protection. >> reporter: exactly how i found myself pinned by an angry chinese woman in a head lock and eating sand is complicated. what i can tell you is this. no, it's not an asian version of "g.i. jane." these women are training to be on the mercenary must-have list on china today. female bodyguards. there are well over 200 billionaires in this country. almost a million millionaires. for many of them, private protection by women, not men, is the ultimate status symbol. answering this rising demand is this man, who once worked as a
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bodyguard for superstar jackie chan. working a deep tan and tight armani t-shirts, he's part general patton, part self-promoter, with his own personal cameraman. at his genghis security school, which he says is the first of its kind in china men and women train side by side for 30 days. despite the physical risk, women from across china want in. this woman is one of them. she's 24 years old and dropped out of medical school to come here. you're so tiny and you are going to give up medicine and be a bodyguard? "i feel like it is my true calling," she says. "it has more of a sense of justice." she's one of many happy to pay a hefty tuition. about $3,000. and follow the rules. that means, no dating until after the age of 28. mr. chen, who is 29, says it's a distraction. he is so confident he can turn anyone into a bodyguard that he challenges me to take his course.
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i don't know how well this is going to go, but we'll see. from underwater drills, practicing my scariest scream, it wasn't so bad until we got to hand to hand combat. guns are illegal in china, so it's a key skill. one my partner seemed determine to master. is this completely insane to anyone else but me? i get pummeled. i decide maybe screaming my head off will help. someone had a little bit of crazy this morning. the drills go on and on. but strangely motivated by chen, no one, not even me, gives up. which brings me back to exactly how i ended up in that headlock. that's a coconut in my arm. i have to protect it at all costs. i eat a lot of sand. but i keep that coconut until the very end, earning respect.
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chen assures me he sees potential. but would i last a full 30 days? this woman did, graduating with chen's latest class of female bodyguards. my advice? don't mess with a single one. for "nightline," gloria riviera, china. >> man. nobody protects a coconut like gloria. thanks to her. and thank you for watching abc news. we hope you check in on "good morning america," they'll be working while you rest. we're always online at we'll see you here tomorrow. up next on an all-new "jimmy kimmel live" -- eric bana. >> flew in from melbourne this morning. but i'm feeling okay. >> i feel like you are doing a fake accent right now. >> from "homeland," damian lewis. >> i know, but i can't stand being that tense! i just want to know what happens!
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